Liberal Peace Conflict, Gender, and Peacebuilding

Liberal Peace Conflict, Gender, and Peacebuilding

Wednesday 31 July 2019


Today’s article is, essentially, a plea to all Tanzanian “men of good will”, to heed   Mwalimu Nyerere’s admonitions contained in his legacy, sermon, which is delivered in his guide book titled “ARGUE, DON’T SHOUT”.
Image result for photos of msekwaThe variety of responses to the Makamba/Kinana letter to me,  (which, as readers  will  probably remember,  was  an appeal  to  the  ‘Baraza la Viongozi Wakuu Wastaafu wa CCM’,  to intervene  in their dispute,  or conflict,  with one Cyprian Musiba;  who had raised  serious  charges against  the duo  for allegedly   having committed  the  wrongful acts  which he specified in his charges).                                      These responses are what moved me to search the archives, looking for Mwalimu Nyerere’s document that he issued way back in 1969, which, according to its sub-title, was “an official guide on foreign policy by the President” (Government Printer, Dar es Salaam).                                                                                                            This was because of the additional lessons I believe we can learn from its teachings, still relating to the same Musiba vs Makamba/Kinana conflict.   
In my article of last Thursday, I endeavoured to draw attention to similar valuable lessons that we could usefully learn from Mwalimu Nyerere’s other book titled TUJISAHIHISHE; and in particular, his admonition that “yafaa zaidi tufikie maamuzi yetu baada ya kufanya uchunguzi wa kutafuta ukweli” (wa jambo husika). That is to say, the need to establish the truth in the disputed matter concerned; This was  in addition to  the endeavour  to allay fears  that the duo had attempted to create through  their  exaggerated claim that Cyprian Musiba’s “unfounded allegations would  pose a danger to the party’s unity, solidarity and tranquility”; a claim  which I  vigorously  disputed,  relying on  cogent  arguments  premised on CCM’s history,  which demonstrates the party’s proven capability to resolve such internal conflicts  successfully and peacefully.
One additional lesson. 
In  today’s article, I will focus on yet another lesson which,  I  humbly suggest, we can usefully learn from  yet another  source  of  Mwalimu Nyerere’s   teachings, namely  his  book  titled  “ARGUE, DON’T  SHOUT”;  in which  Mwalimu Nyerere  states as follows: “Tanzania has four major policy objectives. First, to guard our freedom and our national independence. Second, to build socialism in our country. Third, to help free Southern Africa from the bondage of colonialism.  Four, to promote African Unity. And on top of these, is our obvious interest in the growth and maintenance of world peace based on justice. 
“Tanzania has definite viewpoints on foreign affairs.  When the need arises to argue in their defense, we have to state firmly what they are, why we have adopted them, and what they mean.  We must do this because we want either to influence people, or to have them understand why we have adopted a particular line of action. And for either of these purposes, we have to argue our case convincingly, not just shout about it.  It is relevant to remember that when a speaker screams into a microphone, his audience will hear only a babble of unpleasant noises and may not be able to hear what is being said”.
Thereafter.  In what is directly relevant to this discussion, Mwalimu Nyerere continues as follows: - “Responding to a disagreement by personal or national abuse, does not help at all.  It does not influence our opponents, or even the onlookers, in our favour . . .   For, a disagreement is either the result of a genuine conflict of interest or is the result of a misunderstanding. If it is a result of a misunderstanding, shouting will only make it worse; whereas careful, reasoned argument can end the disagreement to the satisfaction of both parties. If, however, there is a genuine conflict, our interest lies in finding out whether an agreed or acceptable settlement is possible. By arguing the case, the essential points on both sides can be recognized, and some accommodation may then be possible”.
“Theology weak, shout”
I may add here that Mwalimu Nyerere was particularly fond of using some catchy stories to buttress his arguments, especially on occasions when the prevailing conditions had put him in the right mood for doing   so.  I can vividly remember one such occasion, when he told his audience the story of a religious preacher   who was reviewing his written sermon that was to be delivered in his church the next morning.  At some point, he reached a paragraph whose theological argument appeared to be unconvincing.   So, he made a marginal note beside it, to alert himself to that fact, in which he wrote thus: “Theology weak. SHOUT.” 
The moral of this story is basically to warn people to avoid “shouting “when they, run out of ideas’ in a given argument.    
The relevance of all this to the instant case.
It  is my  submission  that the main lesson to be learnt  here  in relation to the instant  case,  is  that “responding to a disagreement by personal abuse does not help at all” This is because, in the light of Mwalimu Nyerere’s teaching,  shouting  “ does  not  influence  your opponents, or even the onlookers” . Furthermore,  if  your disagreement is a result of a misunderstanding, “ shouting will just make  it worse”:   and  if it is a result of  a genuine conflict of interest, and  you genuinely  want  to reach a  settlement, it is only through  arguing the case  “that the essential points can be recognized, and some accommodation may then be possible”.
When this is applied  to  the case under discussion, the  “failure to influence your opponents, or even the onlookers”;  is manifestly  evidenced  by the fact that a  number of observers  have expressed  their  concern   regarding  the abuses and insults which have emerged in the exchanges between, or pronouncements  by ,  some of the actors in  the Musiba vs Makamba/Kinana conflict, or dispute.            
Those who have expressed “grave concern “include Mr.  Nkwazi Mhango, a Tanzanian scholar currently resident in Canada, who posted a statement on his, Mpwayukaji blog’, decrying what he described as the “matusi culture,” which he said he had sadly noticed in connection therewith.
Thus, proceeding under the reasonable presumption that  trading  insults and abuses  such as these,  also  fall  into the category of  “shouting” instead of  ‘’arguing”;  and  in  the light of the adverse  comments that have appeared in the social media platforms,  those who did  so  have obviously  “just  made matters worse”! 
But that is not the only relevant lesson.
Continued reflection over this matter, has brought to my mind another related issue.   In my article of last week, I could not refer to all the teachings offered in TUJISAHIHISHE, partly because of limited editorial space. Availability of such space now brings me back to those teachings; and, specifically, to that which Mwalimu Nyerere   describes as follows: -“Dalila nyingine ya ubinafsi, ambayo ni ugonjwa mbaya sana, in fitina.  Pamoja na kwamba tunayokanuni inayosema kwamba “nitasema kweli daima, fitina kwangu maiko,” lakini bado tunao wanachama ambao ni wafitini wakubwa, bila wao kujitambua.  Wengine humuona mwenzao anafanya kosa.  Lakini badala ya kumwambia pale pale kijamaa kwamba atendalo ni kosa, watanyamaza kimya, na kuanza kumteta katika vikundi vya siri siri.  Hii ni aina moja ya fitina”. 
 I submit that this is yet another lesson that is well-worth learning, in connection with the case under discussion; in the sense that on one hand, those who deliberately avoided following the prescribed procedures in handling their complaints, “walifanya, kosa”. They needed to be told that what they had done was wrong (as indeed they were told).  But on the other hand, those who traded abuses and insults, similarly needed to be told that what they did was wrong! 
 It is imperative to take note of the closing paragraph of Mwalimu Nyerere’s   TUJISAHIHISHE treatise which, in part, reads thus: “Nimetaja makosa machache ambayo yafaa tuyaondoe na kuyaepuka katika Chama chetu   ili yatusaidie, siyo katika kuwahukumu wenzetu tu, lakini  zaidi katika kujihukumu sisi wenyewe”.        
Another dimension which needs to be addressed.
But   there has also emerged   another dimension in the Musiba vs Makamba/Kinana conflict, that requires some clarification.  This is the aspect of there being a link between the said conflict and the forthcoming Presidential election, in which President Magufuli will be seeking reelection.
There are those who  have expressed  the opinion that the source of the said conflict   is “ that there are certain individuals  within CCM,  who are aspiring to  stand against President  Magufuli  in the forthcoming Presidential elections., and that this conflict is part  of  a  “plan  to tame”  these individuals and their known supporters” Wowee!.
To the best of my knowledge and understanding; the CCM’s Rules of procedure and practice, plus its established conventions, provide an effective   guarantee that President Magufuli will be nominated as the party’s election candidate for the forthcoming Presidential   elections.  
It may thus be helpful to provide an explanation of the relevant rules which actually provide this guarantee.  They are the following: - (i)  “Kamati Kuu ya  Halmashauri Kuu ya Taifa itapitia sifa za wagombea wote, na kutoa mapendekezo yake ya majina yasiyoozidi matano, kwa Halmashauri Kuu ya Taifa. (ii)  Halmashauri Kuu ya Taifa itafikiria na kupiga kura za siri, kupendekeza majina yasiyozidi matatu kwa Mkutano Mkuu wa Taifa wa CCM, kwa ajili ya uteuzi wa mwisho.     
(iii)  Isipokuwa kwamba, endapo Halmashauri Kuu ya Taifa itapendekeza jina moja tu, Mkutano Mkuu wa Taifa utapiga kura za “Ndiyo” au “Hapana”, kukubali au kukataa jina hilo”.
The said guarantee is contained in Rule (iii) above, which provides for the submission of only one name to the Party Congress   for final nomination.  Indeed, this has been the established practice over many years, starting with the nomination of President Benjamin Mkapa for the mid-term Presidential election in the year 2000.   Three names have been recommended only on occasions when the relevant Presidential election was NOT a mid-term election, as was the case in 1995; 2005; and 2015.
The reasons for this policy.
This policy is basically founded on political pragmatism. It has been CCM’s settled view, that the act of refusing to select   an incumbent President to compete in the elections for a (deserved) second five-year term, is equivalent to his dismissal from office.  Hence, there must be very transparent, cogent, and compelling reasons, for such a drastic step to be taken.  Such  reasons would include the following:- His  dismal  failure to perform  his functions and duties, particularly  in supervising the implementation of the party’s election manifesto;  or his disgracing   involvement  in  corrupt  practices,  or other scandals;   or  his  loss of the constitutionally stipulated qualifications for the holder of that high  office.
Thus, in my considered opinion,   in view  of President   Magufuli’s  widely  acclaimed  sterling  performance,  plus  his  unprecedented  competence,   in  managing  the  affairs of our country  and the welfare of its people;   any such  ideas  (of  President  Magufuli   being  so overly worried and apprehensive of  having to   face  competition from other CCM candidates),  to the absurd  extent  of  his  having to stoop so low as  to make  plans “to tame” his  competitors, are  mere  illusions  on  the part of the people  who  propagate them,  or  a  figment  of  their  conspiratorial  imagination;  presumably  being  promoted  largely  for the   purpose  only   of   political, mischief-making.’ /0754767576.   
Source: Daily News and Cde Msekwa himself.    

Monday 29 July 2019

CCM needs to avoid the politics of ‘Majitaka’ and Matusi

Image result for siasa za majitaka cartoons            Before his death, former Speaker of the National Parliament Samuel Sitta left a byword if not a catchy word to Tanzanians, especially politicians. It is on record that Sitta coined the phrase ‘siasa za majitaka’ literary dirty politics or ‘sewage politics’ (by transliteration) wherein politicians smear others with abuses and all sorts of unbecoming behaviors to borrow from Kate Colby.
            After former CCM’s general secretaries Abdulrahaman Kinana and Yusuf Makamba wrote an epistle rebutting one Cyprian Musiba’s accusations against them that they were clandestinely working a plot to sabotage CCM’s Chairman, President John Pombe Magufuli in the coming general elections. After dispatching this stingy document, many tongues started wagging while others blabbed pointlessly so as to make an onlooker like myself to fail to distinguish between Musiba, his nemeses and the party bigwigs. After firing their ‘missile’ responding to Musiba’s volleys, alleging that Musiba is but somebody’s puppeteer if not a tool in somebody’s hand that does dirty laundry for those chartered him to ‘finish’ others. Others see him as an attack dog if not a lapdog next to a hoon that fulfils the will of its masters.  Whether this is true or otherwise, nobody knows up until the CCM addressed this conflict carefully and professionally. In conflict resolution studies we say that whenever conflict occurs, what we see is but the tip of the iceberg. This means what’s ongoing in CCM’s upper echelons of power is but a bigger problem than we can see. Therefore, the CCM needs to do it homework carefully and nicely in order to avoid setting a very toxic precedent for the coming retired leaders.
            Unfortunately, so unfortunately, after the duo vented their dissatisfaction about how Musiba has been ‘mollycoddled’ and left to attack whomever he deems fit, many commentators seemed to have easily bitten the bait wantonly. Others praised him for being a patriot while others decided either to take on him or pooh-pooh him altogether. Others treated him like a loose cannon that’s not easy to predict when it comes to its target and the way it approaches it. Many would like to know who this Musiba is before he becomes ‘msiba wa taifa.’
            After opening the floodgates, some of CCM’s bigwigs such as the current secretary General Bashiru Ally were heard calling the duo ‘wapumbavu’ or fools who must be ignored. Are the duo wapumbavu really? Is calling them names the solution many deservedly expect of the CCM one of oldest parties in Africa really? What’s gone wrong in the first place? Is ‘wapumbavu wapuuzwe’ the answer many CCM members and sympathisers expect from such a high-level leader of the party? Is this the answer or lack of it in the first place?  
            Another big cheese that weighed in is none other than Kheri D. James, the CCM youth wing or Umoja wa Vijana wa CCM (UVCCM), who was recently quoted wondering why detractors blame the CCM as if they don’t see its 'achievements', which are on the agora for every eye to see! To make this game of insults under the 'matusi culture' sound even crazier and interesting, James asked if those faulting the CCM need to have their wives impregnated, 'by who?'--please don't ask me go ask him-- so as to appreciate the job well done. Again, looking at the facts that neither Kinana’s nor Makamba’s wives are able to conceive thanks to their ages, one wonders what this insult aimed at serving. Aren’t Kinana and Makamba James’ parents' age mates even older? Do they lose this right simply because they erred which, up until now, has not been proved? Will this crop of leaders deliver the CCM in the near future? What went wrong? I may ask once again: Isn’t the matusi culture evidentially the sign of political insolvency? does this implies or speaks to sitta’s majitaka politics? Isn't an assertion of 'impregnating their wives' an assault to innocent wives of the duo who, I am sure, are as old as James' mother not to mention other women? Where will this culture take our nation? Who stands to gain or lose in this megalomaniac way of dealing with conflict by not dealing with it?
            Many had a kiki on social media by taking an advantage of this misunderstanding that Cde Msekwa refers to as ‘ugomvi wa ndugu’ or siblings’ squabbling’ posting their clips reprimanding, insulting and whatnots depending on the intention[s] of the persons. Some even who are not members of the CCM seized this opportunity to get some kiki if not making some political mileages.
            Fortunately, since the document surfaced for the CCM, its chairman has nary said anything vis-à-vis this imbroglio-cum-impasse. In the same vein, though in an active way, the former CCM Vice Chairman, Mzee Pius Msekwa, who also is a friend of mine, descended on both Musiba and his adversaries and the upper echelons of power to cool their heads and find a solution to this problem. Through his weekly treatise in the Daily News, Msekwa became a very competent umpire who did not take side. To prove that ‘uzee ni dawa’ and wisdom increases as someone clocks up years, though not all, Mzee Msekwa invoked the father of nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere’s prised ‘morsels of sagacity’ quoting from his huge and rare reserve of knowledge on how to adeptly deal with such conflict. Mzee Msekwa quoted Nyerere’s ‘Tujisahihishe’ and ‘Don’t shout, (just) argue’ dossiers as he urged both sides to avoid making a mountain out of a molehill. On top of that, some moles in the party in the general public would like to seize this opportunity in serving their dangerous and hidden agendas not to mention settling scores.
            On a serious note, the CCM needs to avoid the ‘politics of sewage’ by reprimanding those who bank on insults instead of providing right answers and a solution to a problem it is now facing. As for CCM’s bigwigs, cadres and gung-ho, they need to be the solution instead of becoming the part of the problem. Hell-nyet, things can’t go well this way. Insults don't normally work. If they do, they do so for the self-destruction not to mention creating the seeds of destruction within. Importantly, the CCM badly needs to show its maturity but not vacuity and uppity some of its misfits are now showing in addressing this conflict. It needs to make sure that the duo is unconditionally availed with the right to defence; and thereby enjoy the right of the presumption of innocence until proven guilty instead of being guilty until proven innocent as the current situation shows.
Siasa za majitaka na matusi hazijengi chama wala nchi bali zinabomoa na kuaibisha. This is not the way to go. Tujisahihishe and don't shout, just argue. Who wants to douce fire with oil or just guillotine him/herself?